Bartender of the Month: September 2004
Wednesday, September 1, 2004;
Why we like him: So I'm sitting at a pretty stylish cocktail bar when I get a text message from my friend Brian, telling me I have to try the Manhattan at Palena, the much-heralded Cleveland Park restaurant. He helpfully sends a recipe, cribbed from bartender Derek Brown: Maker's Mark bourbon, (Italian) Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, bitters and a bourbon-soaked cherry, with bourbon-infused cherry juice spooned on the rim.
Bourbon -- Booker's straight on the rocks. In terms of cocktails, it's the Bronx (gin, sweet and dry vermouth and orange juice). And not just because it's on the menu.
The Sidecar (Courvoisier, Cointreau, lemon juice and a sugar-powdered rim). It's really versatile. It's sweet and girly, but you can be manly and drink it, too -- it's got cognac in it, you know.
It was something I can't remember, but I couldn't make it anyway because it involved Sloe Gin or something. I'm not good with shots and that sort of thing -- I always fall back on the classic cocktails.
Be belligerent to the servers. It's only happened once.
How about this: A termite walks into a bar and says, "Hey, is the bar tender?"
Okay, that's awful.
I pick the CDs, but I'd get rid of Caetano Veloso's version of "Feelings."
They've had a lot of drinks?
No, I don't like to do that. They know where you work.
They're not cheap. Every now and then you get a person who doesn't leave too much, but that doesn't mean they're cheap. But I'm lucky.
The one thing I couldn't stand at Rocky's is "bar art." What I call "bar art" -- you know, [people] tear up a book of matches or a napkin or something and arrange it in an interesting pattern, or they try to make a person out of a straw or something. Maybe it's a nervous habit. I don't know. But it makes a mess.
Wow. I do that so frequently that people ask me not to. How about this: The best beverage you can drink is water.